Honour Us When We Are Still Alive, Okocha Urges NFF

Nigerian football legend Austin Jay Jay Okocha says he would prefer the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) to honour the nations football heroes —including himself when they are still alive and not until they die.

Okocha gave reason that honouring our footballers during their lifetime would encourage them to commit themselves to national duties.

The ex-eagles skipper said this while he spoke at the media briefing for the Pitch Award to be organised by NFF and the Match Makers scheduled for December 15.

“For me, I will like the country to honour me when I’m alive instead of giving me an honour when I’m dead,” Okocha stated.

‘Jay Jay’ also commented on Stephen Keshi’s ongoing rebuilding of the national team, saying that Keshi was doing well and that a blend of the domestic and foreign-based players is a positive path to success.

“Well, I think it’s the way forward because the professionals started back home before venturing abroad to become professionals.

“I think the coach should always play his best players in every game,” he said.

He warned that Keshi should not shut out John Mikel Obi, one of the nation’s best players in the race for South Africa 2013 showpiece.

“I think we’re looking at improving with every game and bringing Mikel back, of course, is a plus for us.

“Mikel is about one of our best players, no matter what we think about it, we still need him.

“He is an important player, I think it’s a good goal to have him.”